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him. "Put you' arm 'roun' La Folle's nake, Cheri. Dat's nuttin';
dat goin' be nuttin'." She lifted him in her powerful arms.
Cheri had carried his gun muzzle-downward. He had
stumbled,--he did not know how. He only knew that he had a ball lodged
somewhere in his leg, and he thought that his end was at hand.
Now, with his head upon the woman's shoulder, he moaned and wept
with pain and fright.
"Oh, La Folle! La Folle! it hurt so bad! I can' stan' it, La Folle!"
"Don't cry, mon bebe, mon bebe, mon Cheri!" the woman
spoke soothingly as she covered the ground with long strides.
"La Folle goin' mine you; Doctor Bonfils goin' come make
mon Cheri well agin."
She had reached the abandoned field. As she crossed it with
her precious burden, she looked constantly and restlessly from side
to side. A terrible fear was upon her, --the fear of the world
beyond the bayou, the morbid and insane dread she had been under
When she was at the bayou's edge she stood there, and shouted
for help as if a life depended upon
"Oh, P'tit Maitre! P'tit Maitre! Venez donc! Au secours! Au secours!"
No voice responded. Cheri's hot tears were scalding her neck.
She called for each and every one upon the place, and still no
She shouted, she wailed; but whether her voice remained
unheard or unheeded, no reply came to her frenzied cries. And all
the while Cheri moaned and wept and entreated to be taken home to
La Folle gave a last despairing look around her. Extreme
terror was upon her. She clasped the child close against her
breast, where he could feel her heart beat like a muffled hammer.
Then shutting her eyes, she ran suddenly down the shallow bank of
the bayou, and never stopped till she had climbed the opposite
She stood there quivering an instant as she opened her eyes.
Then she plunged into the footpath through the trees.